Serving as the primary client contact and the event project manager - our Event Designers work closely with our internal team to facilitate every job from concept to execution.
With over 65,000 square feet of warehouse and studio spaces, our facility houses carpentry, paint and upholstery shops, design studios, and rental furniture storage. We offer our clients custom build options, as well as rental items for their event design needs.
Annie gained her marketing degree in the UK, going on to head up Visual Merchandising for Daniel Hechter including runway shows at Paris Design Week. She returned to London as PR Manager for collections, including Oliver Strelli and Karl Lagerfeld. In 1996 she moved to DC translating her skills into the world of live events. Now CEO and Creative Director at Design Foundry, she was recently honored as a top event designer by BizBash, and Smart Meetings named her one of their Smart Women of 2017.
Cory Ryan Frank began his career in theatre, having gained his BA from SUNY New Paltz in Theatre Design and Production, and then an MFA from the University of Maryland in Theatre Design. After freelancing as a lighting designer and production manager throughout DC for several years, teaching theatre at the Edmund Burke school, and working with Capital Fringe, Cory joined the Design Foundry team in 2012 as a production manager, and transitioned to the event design/project management team in 2013.
A native of Nashville, TN, Meghan graduated from Howard University and began her career working at one of DC’s top DMCs, creating impressive events for a wide range of Fortune 500 companies and associations. After realizing her passion for creativity and design, Meghan joined the Design Foundry Team in November 2013. Inspired by fashion and travel, her designs blend architecture, texture and bold colors along with a few personalized creative touches for a picture perfect event.
A native of Brazil with a degree in Theatre Production & Design from UMD, Mel has worked as a Founding Company Member of Pointless Theatre, and as a Designer, Writer, Producer, and Stage Manager for various performing arts organizaitons including The Kennedy Center, and Ford's Theatre. She holds a certificate in Wedding & Event Planning from the Sheffield School in NYC, where she freelanced as an Event Planner for various clients, including Warner Bros & SAG, before joining teamDF in 2015.
Russ, born and raised in New York found himself in DC after graduating from American University with a degree in Multimedia Art. Through working for a local Art Gallery he was introduced to the events industry where he later joined a major catering company in DC. Russ takes pride in his experience with large scale event operations/logistics, attention to detail and always having his clients vision in mind.
Amanda began working for Design Foundry in September 2015. She started her design career as a freelance scenic designer after receiving her BA in theatre. She also studied exhibit design at the George Washington University, during which time she worked in retail display design, museum exhibit design, and event layout services. She enjoys the challenges and variety event design has to offer and loves to work on large installations and multi-venue projects.
Originally from the midwest. Samina came to the Washington DC area after graduate school and worked for 8 years in the DMV and regional area as a scenic and properties designer. At Design Foundry she brings her theatrical expertise to each event with attention to detail and problem solving skills. She loves being able to transform a space that creates a unique and memorable experience for each client.
Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Colin Hunter is a graduate of George Mason University. While earning his BS in Tourism and Events Management, he gained valuable special events experience through internships and volunteer work with companies in the DMV area. Colin’s love of art and museums eventually led him to the Smithsonian Institution where he grew his knowledge of special events and graphic design at the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of African Art.
With a B.F.A in industrial design, Aleks worked as an exhibit and event designer for Hargrove, in DC for seven years. Then went to work for Laundry Group, an interior design firm specializing in restaurants, bars and retail stores for clients around the world. Later, at Avista Events, he designed special events and environments and three years later, Annie partnered with Aleks and founded Design Foundry with an emphasis on making design an integral part of the event lexicon.
Raised in Miami, Florida, Maria moved to Baltimore in 2013 to pursue a visual arts degree at the Maryland institute College of Art. On May 2017 she completed a B.F.A in Illustration and joined TeamDF just two weeks after graduating as their Graphic Designer. With enthusiasm and creativity, she helps our event designers’ visions come to life. What inspires her the most is creating themed environments and immersing guests in experiences through way-finding and signage.
Dan was brought on to the team in March of 2018 after he graduated school in Detroit, Michigan. In school he focused on industrial design, illustration and experience design, even helping his school create events like a city-wide scavenger hunt. His goal is to help add creativity and fun wherever possible!
Sarah earned her bachelors degree in Interior Design in Saudi Arabia and later worked in an architectural firm for two years where she experienced different fields of design development. After that she decided to shift careers and explore design more deeply. In 2015 she moved to the US to pursue her graduate studies in exhibition designs at George Washington University. She joined Design Foundry as a visual design intern working in various projects producing 3D renders and design concepts.
Dennae has a BFA in Graphic Design from FSC and is currently an MA candidate in Exhibition Design at GWU. She recently interned at an architecture studio and studied modern/contemporary architecture in Italy. Originally from New Zealand and raised in North Carolina, Dennae is an avid traveler who is inspired by global culture & design. A fan of "theming" as well as concepts applied in creative ways, she hopes to improve her understanding of active 3D environments to enhance her design toolbox.
Katie Duesel has worked with Annie and the Design Foundry for the past 12 years. After attending James Madison University with a focus in Business, Katie started as an entry-level assistant and has worked her way up to General Manager. She enjoys working on events in DC as well as all over the country, including Miami, Colorado and New York. Katie's goal is to go above and beyond the client's expectations. Katie grew up and currently lives in the area with her husband Jeff and three kids.
Michelle received her Bachelors in Theater Arts from SUNY New Paltz. She started her career in Theatre as a Stage Manager with the Actor's Equity Association. After some time, she transitioned to the events industry as the Scheduling Manager for Frost Productions based in NY. When the opportunity to work with Design Foundry arose, she and her fiancé were ready for a new adventure. They took the leap and relocated to DC and rescued their boxer mix, Cody, who helps us out in the HR department.
Karen Dugan has been the accountant for Design Foundry since 2012. Besides working the numbers and keeping the books accurate, as the oldest employee she is also the resident house mother. There is no apple too small to share with her office mates. When not at the office Karen can be found on the tennis courts competing in doubles matches. Do not mess with her.
Wayne is a PMI Certified Project Manager. He is a graduate of RIT with a BS in Print Technology. His primary expertise is Process Improvement, Project Management and Operational Leadership, focusing on new plants, new equipment, formats, and instituting new high efficiency procedures. His professional focus has been to build and manage collaborative teams that connect people, improve processes, and save money. Wayne came to DF after running his own consulting firm for many years.
Hana spent her early career in professional theatre as a technical director and designer, working in the DC area. She was the technical director with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company for 12 seasons. She was involved in the design and construction of Woolly’s permanent home in Penn Quarter, DC. More recently, she worked as a production manager at Hargrove. Highlights include Solar Decathlon in DC, the NATO Conference in Chicago and international summits in Kenya, Montenegro and India.
Kristen attended the University of Baltimore where she studied Arts Administration and Management. She has a background in theatre as a professional stage manager, working mostly in the Greater Baltimore Area. Over the past years Kristen has spent her days working on major festivals in Baltimore City such as Artscape, Light City, and the Baltimore Book Festival and her nights stage managing for professional theatres. Kristen has returned to the Washington, DC area to join #TeamDF.
Since receiving her BA in psychology and theatre, Charlotte has been working in production and company management for various professional theaters including Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Olney Theatre Center. When not at the office, Charlotte can be seen at a yoga class or enjoying her local farmers market.
Originally from Costa Rica, Glenda has worked with Annie for over 15 years. She began her career in events as on-site crew, helping install events. Glenda soon let her talents shine in our fabrics department, making custom drapery, pillows, and learning how to custom upholster new pieces of furniture. She now leads the Fabrics team, heading the Fabric and Upholstery Department for Design Foundry.
Michael received his MFA in Technical Production from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008. He went on to work as assistant technical director for The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC. He joined Design Foundry in 2014.
Alex Ginder earned his MFA in Scenography from University of North Carolina: Greensboro and worked as a freelance lighting and scenic designer for various theatres in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland before finding his way to Design Foundry.
Za worked as a freelance scenic artist for many theaters in the DC area for the last decade. Her favorites include Constellation Theater, Signature Theater, and Gala Hispanic Theater. Before joining Design Foundry she worked as a faux finisher with several architecture firms and construction companies. Her work can be seen in many restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Her hobbies include rock climbing and taking pictures of her dog.
Matt learned stagecraft and carpentry at UMBC focusing on set design and production. From there he went on to work for several regional theaters including Olney Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre. He now uses the skills he honed there to lead a team of talented carpenters and fabricators in crafting the varying array of custom scenic items.
Yaw was born and raised in the DC Metro area. He has over 15 years of Warehouse Logistic experience in various fields, prior to joining the Design Foundry team in 2015. He loves the fast pace and creativity of the company, and enjoys the challenge the Event world provides, keeping him engaged and excited for the next big project. Yaw enjoys fast cars, music and grilling.
Norm has been working with Annie for the past 16 years. He loves his job and working with such great coworkers, and has learned a lot from the years he's been involved with Design Foundry, especially how a small company can grow into such a major operation. Norm is a father, husband, grandfather and great grandfather dedicated to his family, and giving his time to God on Sundays.
Joey has been working with Annie for 8 years. He has since taken on multiple responsibilities in the warehouse, driving, working on-site installations, and currently, running the furniture inventory warehouse. He's thankful to Annie for welcoming him into the company, and giving him the chance to discover his passion, and hopes to have many more years to continue to grow alongside this booming company. In his spare time, he loves boxing, fishing and working out.
Dannie has worked full time for Design Foundry for three years, and is #teamDF's lead warehouse member. Before becoming a full time staff member, Dannie worked hourly for the warehouse team. Dannie is dedicated and hard working, and always willing to go the extra mile
A native Washingtonian, Gavin has worked in academic and local theater since high school. After working for Border’s Books as a store planner where he traveled extensively though out the US, he transitioned into the special events world in 2016. He has worked a wide array of interesting events throughout the D.C. area and beyond. He enjoys history, travel, and photography in his free time.
Gonzalo Mendoza (Chalo) moved to the US from his native Paraguay in 2003. Not long after, he had the opportunity to work with Avista Events where he met Annie Senatore. He worked for the company part time until 2015 when he became a full time employee. He is a happily married father of four and an avid “Futbol” fan!
Cody is a crucial member of our Human Resources department here at Design Foundry. He ensures everyone stays positive during our busy seasons by offering a paw or a high five to anyone who’s in need. He takes his daily task of delivering our event job binders to our Warehouse Team VERY seriously. He’s always happy to welcome new visitors in our office with an excited tail wag. Come by and say hi! (and don’t forget to bring some peanut butter!)
Our unique team hails from the world of fashion, theatre, architecture, exhibit design, fine arts, and the vast realm of event planning. We have the expertise to support your event from concept to execution. We value our partners and believe in creating friends, not clients, through unfiltered creativity and transparent discussions. We believe the journey is as important as the end and pride ourselves on our willingness and tenacity to get things done.
Serving as the primary client contact and the event project manager - our Event Designers work closely with our internal team to facilitate every job from concept to execution.
Our Visual Designers work with 3D modeling and graphic design software to translate conceptual ideas into realistic renderings, graphics and prints.
The technical arm of the company, our Production Managers, Technical Directors, Carpenters, Painters, Seamstresses, Warehouse Team and Drivers, handle the nuts and bolts of transforming ideas into reality.
Our General Manager, Staffing Supervisor, and Accounting Director manage our daily operations and oversee our growing team of project based support staff.
“[Microsoft] Office staff and partners were blown away by the concept, level of detail, and elevated experience—all of which was reflected throughout the space with your design expertise. Working with you has been such a positive experience for us with your flexibility to dive right in from the beginning of the design process, and roll with the punches with the many rounds of revisions and change of concepts. We specifically appreciated your open and transparent communication style throughout the planning process when navigating all the moving parts of the event, and figuring out the best way to execute logistics with multiple players involved.”
“Our Employee Benefits Leadership Forum Gala was riddled with challenges, some of them exciting, and you and your team built an event that was world class, and everyone had a great time. It's why we believe that there is no other firm in the whole of the U.S. that can compete with you and your team. It's not a job. It's a passion. And we can tell. ”
“We love working with our friends at Design Foundry! They are like family to us! No matter the challenge we throw at them, they do a great job every time! Design Foundry is the best in the business and our #1 choice for Event Design and Decor!” ”
“ We couldn’t ask for a better design team than Design Foundry for the RAMMYS! This dynamic event, with so many different elements, is brought to life with creative genius and so much personality to capture the restaurant and food service industry and our diverse group of sponsors. ”
“Being our first time working with Design Foundry, we were overly pleased by the service provided and overall look of the event. It was beautiful! I greatly appreciate you working with our budget limits while trying to keep the event at a high level elegant feel. You were amazing to work with and so helpful onsite. ”
“HUGE BIG THANK YOU to you and the entire Design Foundry team for all of your help with Fashion for Paws. Everyone loved the design this year. I have heard continuous positive feedback about the stage being “the best it’s ever been!” I have to agree. It’s my new favorite! The colors popped and the photos look spectacular! Kudos to you and your team! ”
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your absolutely incredible help leading up to the fabulous Gala yesterday. I got incredibly positive feedback regarding the stage and décor and all credit goes to you. I personally truly appreciate your help, professionalism, poise and grace with all our folks in the days leading up to and on the day of the event.” ”
“We are finally able to take a breather and enjoy the results of a beautiful Gala and an AWESOME Bash, which couldn’t have happened without Design Foundry. We are tremendously grateful to be able to work with such talent. Everyone absolutely loved the décor and the feel/theme of both events. ”
“You won’t find a more loyal and hard working team of fabricators than the Foundry Crew. Design Foundry consistently pushes the envelope in ways that I imagine makes their competitors wonder what an envelope even IS. We love our collaborations with this team of creative professionals and deeply value our partnership with them. ”